Wednesday , Sep , 05 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Could Kobe Bryant End Up With New York Knicks Or Chicago Bulls?

Bryant moving east makes sense. Over the summer, the Eastern Conference got a fresh infusion of talent, but the league’s three best teams, Dallas, Phoenix, and San Antonio, still play out west. Joining an Eastern Conference squad gives Bryant his best shot at winning a fourth NBA Title …

The Chicago Tribune speculates on Kobe Bryant’s future home:

He was quiet here on his demands to be traded, though privately is said not to have changed his mind. It seems unlikely the Lakers will make a move now, or even this season.

With coach Phil Jackson entering the final year of his contract, transition appears to be in the Lakers’ future. The betting is the Knicks will make a major run at Bryant with the Bulls, Bryant’s personal choice, still a possibility.

My Quick Take:  I hope Bryant and the work through their differences. But I don’t see it happening. The two sides are past the point of no return. With Coach Phil Jackson retiring and Bryant’s opt-out clause looming, the purple-and-gold have to consider changes.

Bryant moving east makes sense. Over the summer, the Eastern Conference got a fresh infusion of talent, but the league’s three best teams, Dallas, Phoenix, and San Antonio, still play out west. Joining an Eastern Conference squad gives Bryant his best shot at winning a fourth NBA Title.

So what are the Knicks and Bulls’ chances of landing the all-world guard?

Looking at New York‘s chances:

1)
lack the assets to trade for Bryant. They’re hoping he opts out of his contract following the 2008-09 season and becomes available as a free agent. And …

2)
Timing is everything. In two seasons, Stephon Marbury’s 20 million dollar contract expires, so the Knicks have the cap space to chase Bryant.

3) Bryant is Hollywood. And the NBA would suffer if he left the Lakers for a less glamorous franchise. But Kobe Bean in Madison Square Gardens is pretty compelling stuff.

4) Pick your poison: Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak or James Dolan and Isiah Thomas? The Lakers and Knicks are both dysfunctional. Hopefully, Bryant recognizes that he would be trading an old headache for a new one.

Looking at Chicago‘s chances:

1) could conceivably trade for Bryant. They have several nice blending stars on the roster. But none of them could replace Bryant’s star power at the Staples Center.

2) There’s mutual respect. The Chicago organization marvels at Bryant’s talent. And Bryant remembers how the Bulls kept their meeting quiet three summers ago, when he was considering signing as a free agent with Chicago.

3) Chicago is loaded with young talent. Last year, they took a giant step forward and will only get better. Bryant is brilliant. But the Bulls might stick with what they have.

4) Bryant following in Jordan’s footsteps sounds kind of nice, right? It’s certainly intriguing.

The X-Factors:

1) Let’s say the Lakers make major changes. They acquire another star. They bring in a credible GM. And they keep Zen master Phil. Then Bryant stays on the left coast.

2) Would Bryant’s sponsors top up his endorsement deals if he took a cut in NBA salary to join New York or Chicago? Who knows? But it’s a possibility.

Do the Knicks and Bulls have a legitimate shot at Bryant? Should he stay with the Lakers? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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